What can I do to feel better if I am suffering from autoimmune disease?

If you are living with an autoimmune disease, there are things you can do each day to feel better:

Eat a healthy diet. Keep your immune system as healthy as can be! The list of nutrients that you need for a healthy immune system is long. But don't try to overload on vitamins because that could be worse for your health. Try to get all you need from food, rather than from vitamin pills. Eat balanced meals with foods from all of the food groups. Include yummy fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Also eat calcium-rich foods, such as fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt. Avoid fatty foods. Get regular exercise (but be careful not to overdo it). Thirty minutes most days of the week is best, but talk with your doctor about what types of exercise you can do. A gradual and gentle exercise program often works well for people with long-lasting muscle and joint pain. Some types of yoga or tai chi exercises may be helpful. Get enough rest. Rest allows your body tissues and joints the time they need to repair. Sleeping is a great way you can help both your body and mind. If you don't get enough sleep, your stress level and your symptoms could get worse. You also can't fight off sickness as well when you sleep poorly. With enough sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower your risk for illness. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Reduce stress and try "self" pain management. You also might be able to lessen your pain or muscle spasms and deal with other aspects of living with your disease if you try meditation or self-hypnosis. You can learn to do these through self-help books, tapes, or with the help of an instructor. You also can use imagery (use the power of your thoughts to "destroy" your pain) or distract your focus on your pain by doing a hobby or something else you enjoy.

This answer is based on source information from National Women's Health Information Center.

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